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Kaiser Permanente and Veterans Affairs Preview Electronic Health Record Interoperability to Enable Better Health Care
Date:9/23/2008

in making electronic health records standards-based and interoperable."

In the test demonstration at the American Health Information Community meeting in Washington, D.C., Kaiser Permanente physician George Peredy, MD, showed how William Ozzie's sample patient data could be obtained from five different health providers including the VA, the Department of Defense and the private sector. In the model, Ozzie was wounded in Iraq and received treatment over the course of nearly two years at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland; MedVirginia St. Mary's Hospital in Virginia; Holston Medical Group Urgent Care in Tennessee; NCHICA First Health facility in North Carolina; Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Virginia; and finally a Kaiser Permanente hospital in California. Dr. Peredy, demonstrating how an NHIN exchange could work, showed the sample medical information flow from the other facilities in the test environment to a Kaiser Permanente model and be used immediately at the point of care.

As nearly every patient today receives care from multiple providers, interoperable electronic health records that can share data are critical for truly integrated care. This need is particularly evident within the military health community. Approximately 40 percent of America's veterans receive their health care outside of VA facilities, and up to 70 percent of active duty personnel health care is provided outside of the U.S. Department of Defense's health system.

Much like how automated teller machines from various banks share information and work seamlessly for account holders from different institutions, electronic health records from different systems can be safely linked to provide access to data. The health information exchanges demonstrated by Kaiser Permanente and the VA are premised on ensuring the privacy and security of patient information, and as integrated systems like these are operationalized in the future, patient consent to share data will be
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